Submitted by Olivia G. White, Ph.D.
Community Day – Myth or Reality?
What do the Frederick County Health Department (FCHD), AARP, YMCA, Good Health WINs, and educational institutions have in common? Each of these organizations is committed to maintaining the health, well-being, and safety of those they serve. In addition, each of them participated in Frederick County Alumnae Chapter’s first Community Day, June 18, 2022, 1-5 PM, in Staley Park, Frederick, MD.
Frederick County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. executed a well-organized Community Day 2022, themed “Community Empowered Through UNITY — A Call to Action,” which was FREE and open to the public. More than three hundred community residents and nearly fifty partners gathered to help celebrate this event on Juneteenth Weekend. Community Day was a collaboration of diverse community organizations seeking to raise awareness about services and opportunities, provide information and resources for the well-being of the community, and encourage “action.” Attendees received information in the areas of health and wellness, physical and mental health, education, economic development, and political awareness and involvement. The Membership Services Committee served as the welcome station and first point of contact for attendees and partners. Linked here is a list of participating partners.
In addition to services provided by each organization, free or discounted transportation was made available to residents through United Way of Frederick County’s Ride United transportation program, and the Housing Authority of the City of Frederick. To attract attendance at the event, a shred truck, food trucks, and a DJ were added to the day’s activities. Throughout the day, periodic speakers including County Executive Jan Gardner and City of Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor presented proclamations to FCAC for creating a positive change in our community, uniting organizations of shared values, and encouraging positive action.
Mayor O’Connor said, “Community Day 2022 represents the City of Frederick’s values of teamwork and collaboration. The City is proud to support this mission of uplifting our vibrant community and enriching the lives of our residents.”
The event also featured Voter Registration, Health and Wellness screenings (COVID testing, COVID vaccinations, and/or booster shots, in addition to HIV screenings, and Narcan Training), and educational opportunities (FCPS, Frederick Community College, Hood College, and Mount St. Mary’s University). The first 75 attendees that received a COVID vaccine or booster received a gift card (valued at $10). Five hundred COVID test kits were distributed along with handouts about vaccinations and flu.
Partners and attendees were invited to complete a survey. Overall, the event was well-received. Respondents appreciated the opportunities for organizations to network with each other; develop cross-organizational partnerships, and plan for co-sponsored events. Attendees boasted this was a “great event!” Many organizations that did not participate in Community Day reached out to FCAC to request their inclusion in next year’s event. One of the definitions of community is “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. Was Community Day 2022 a Myth or Reality?
Community Day 2022 was a successful Reality!